Identification of maternal characteristics associated with the use of epidural analgesia
The present survey aims to identify predictors associated with the use of epidural analgesia (EA). Therefore, from October 2007 to June 2008, a survey was conducted in 193 pregnant women (mean age 31.7 years (SD 4.9); 64.8% primipara) attending a German general hospital with a specialisation in integrative medicine. Questionnaires, including Antonovsky's sense of coherence (SOC) were delivered antepartum. Delivery data were recorded within the hospital quality management programme. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for EA use was significantly greater than one for women who had previously used EA (adjusted OR =4.1; CI: 1.03-16.31) and for the desire for a delivery without pain (adjusted OR =3.05; CI: 1.36-6.83). The likelihood of EA use decreased in multipara (adjusted OR =0.05; CI: 0.01-0.22). SOC was not found to be an independent predictor for EA use. However, women with high SOC more often preferred a delivery without EA (p for trend =0.037). In conclusion, first time labour, the desire for a delivery without pain and previous use of EA are independent predictors for the use of EA in labour. Further studies should clarify the predictive role of SOC in pregnancy.
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